Throughout this semester, your point-of-view essays (POV’s) have prepared you to write your final paper. Beginning with the 3rd class, you’ve prepared single-page responses to various topics around the elegant complexity of urban ecology and our relationships with human settlements. Similarly, your final paper will be created around a current topic or controversy, one that naturally embodies the three spheres of urban ecology.
For your paper, select a local controversy that you believe is of vital importance to you and the community. By following news reports, interviewing key players, or attending public meetings, learn as much as possible about the complex issues that surround your topic. Seek to discover as many points of view about the controversy as possible. If you are from someplace outside of the Salt Lake metropolitan area, you are welcome to choose a controversy from a place you care about. It is important that whatever topic you choose it is something that genuinely matters to you.
While this controversy may present itself first as either a social, environmental or economic problem, you have learned through the semester that no matter what the topic may be, it will embody all three spheres of urban ecology.
Your final paper is to be a well-researched, narrative expression of how you have learned to think like an ecosystem. In other words, no matter what the controversy may be, you are to describe the social, environmental and economic elements of the topic as the organizing elements for your paper. Importantly, you are also to include your point of view just as you have been doing throughout the semester. In some cases, papers may be of such quality and represent enough commitment that they could be modified for submission to a local newspaper as an opinion piece. Since your relationship with the topic is one that has you engaged as a student, it may also have you engaged as a citizen and an agent of change.
Papers are to be 10-12 pages in length, double-spaced, and in a 12 point font. There is no particular style required, however students are expected to submit a well-documented research paper, including citations. Papers may include any maps or images needed to adequately communicate your controversy.